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The Power of 360 Degree Feedback

360-degree feedback is a process that incorporates feedback from an individual’s manager, peers, direct reports, customers and/or clients (among others) and includes their own self-assessment.  When the right foundation is in place and 360-degree feedback is utilized as a tool for development (rather than evaluating performance), the process has time and again shown to be a catalyst for the increased self awareness as well as improved relationships and performance, that is so critical to individual and organizational success.

The goal of every 360-degree feedback process should be to identify key feedback themes as well as bring focus and self-awareness to the areas that an individual would most benefit from developing, and to then use that information to inform the establishment of their short and longer-term learning and development plans.

“The feedback that I received was comprehensive and touched on many areas of my job performance as well as my relationships with others in the workplace. Sharon took the time to review the 360 feedback with me and I appreciated her insights and suggestions. She also provided further information about how to use the feedback to maximize its positive impacts. Overall, the 360 Feedback process was a positive and reaffirming experience for me and has provided me with direction for future development.”

Factors linked to success with the 360-degree feedback process include organizations that:

  • Use the process to achieve the ultimate goal and purpose of identifying an individual’s strengths and themes for informing their future development.
  • Walk the talk when it comes to supporting employee learning, growth and development.
  • Utilize assessment questions and tools that allow for comments and that bring credibility to the process.
  • Assure confidentiality of feedback received and respondent anonymity.
  • Take the time to ensure those involved in the process are prepared: that they understand the purpose of the 360-degree feedback process and what constructive feedback looks like.
  • Provide follow-up debriefings, coaching and support (as needed).

Factors linked to failure include organizations that:

  • Use the 360-degree feedback for the purpose of evaluating an individual’s performance.
  • Link 360-degree feedback results to pay, promotion or other opportunities/ benefits.
  • Don’t pay attention to and deliver on the factors linked to success.
Feedback is the breakfast of champions.

– Ken Blanchard

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